Posted July 07, 2003 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
Posted by Dale Wong
With communist dictator Fidel Castro’s continued repression of the people of Cuba, worldwide sentiment is moving against him. This report by Carl Limbacher and the NewsMax staff is posted by permission.
NEWSMAX.COM - Worldwide sentiment continues to move against Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.
In recent months, Castro has stepped up repression in his communist enclave and has even lost the support of some Europeans and Third World allies.
The Washington-based Center for a Free Cuba reports that in the past week alone:
At a Madrid seminar, former Czech President Vaclav Havel urged the European Union to establish a fund in support of political reform in Cuba.
Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio said: ‘‘Fidel Castro’s regime has run its course. The Cuban Suarez (a reference to Franco’s minister, who led the Spanish transition) is already in Cuba. ... In a few years, Cuba will be a democratic country.’’ (El País, Madrid, July 2)
A Pax Christi representative, attending the Madrid meeting, suggested a ‘‘selective boycott’’ against ‘‘Cuba’s government elite,’’ denying them the right to travel to European Union countries. ( Libertad Digital, July 2)
According to a column by former U.S. Ambassador to the OAS Harriet Babbit, ‘‘The international community’s responsibility is now to register in at every possible moment in every possible venue its horror at the egregious violations of basic rights ...’’ in Cuba. (Arizona Republic, June 29)
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin met with Reporters Without Borders and with Ileana de la Guardia and Jorge Masetti, Cuban exiles in Paris. Both urged Villepin to bring an end to all cooperation that fails to benefit the Cuban people, particularly programs of assistance to Cuba’s police and judicial system. (Le Monde, July 1)
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) activists distributed brochures to tourists traveling to Cuba at a Paris airport. The brochure was titled ‘‘Welcome to Cuba: The Largest Prison for Journalists in the World.’’ ‘‘It is not a call for a travel boycott ... but for those traveling to the island to realize that behind the sun and the beaches there is a totalitarian regime,’’ RSF’s Robert Menard said. (EFE, Paris, July1)
Calls for lifting the U.S. embargo against the Cuban dictator have become almost nil. And Cuba’s economy continues to be in a tailspin.
Cuba’s National Bank reported that the island’s debt amounts to $12.21 billion, according to The Center for Cuba and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami.
In October 2002, Cuba suspended payments to Bancomext, a Mexican government bank that finances exports. Recently, France announced the suspension of a $175 million credit line to finance purchases of food guaranteed by sugar exports.
But don’t count Castro out. Word out of Venezuela is that Castro ally Hugo Chavez has already steered $4 billion from his country’s treasury to help Castro take over Latin Amerrica.
The latest red alert about Castro comes from normally stable Costa Rica. Costa Rica’s president, Abel Pacheco, said that ‘‘foreign leftist leaders’’ (from Cuba and Brazil) have infiltrated the country in support of a teacher strike and the blocking of highways associated with the strike. According to the authorities, Carmen Godínez, a leader of Cuba’s official unions, participated in last week’s labor unrest.
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